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Jul 13, 2018

CCJ Welcomes New President with Special Sitting

Adrian Saunders

The Caribbean Court of Justice held a special sitting today at its headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago. The solemn occasion, the first of two, was held to honour the court’s new president Justice Adrian Saunders who takes over from Justice Denis Byron.  Saunders is the third president of the C.C.J. and a distinguished jurist from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines where a second event is to be held. Other sitting justices of the C.C.J. paid tribute to Saunders as well as highlighted the successes of the regional court. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Earlier today in Port of Spain, Trinidad, a special sitting was held to observe the ascension of Justice Adrian Saunders to the presidency of the Caribbean Court of Justice.  The official ceremony followed a previous event on July fourth, during which Justice Saunders was sworn-in and recognized by the CARICOM heads of government.  This morning, at its seat on 134 Henry Street, lawyers and judges from across the region were on hand for the ritual sitting.

 

Presenter 1

“For us, this is not a Trinidadian court full of foreigners from the wider Caribbean and elsewhere.  This is a Barbadian court, it is a Belizean court, it is a Dominican court and it is a Guyanese court.  Today, the court is led by a man whose erudition is rivaled only by his humility and erudition and humility are just words .  But your honor’s erudition is in displaying your judgments for all of us to see.  Humility is also on display to all who have appeared before you.  In all hearings, counsel are engaged by your honor with vigor and often firmly taken to the outer limits of their arguments.  But when accolades are given, as today, your honor sits in stone-like seriousness and squirms noticeably with discomfort, as if to say let’s get back to the issues.”

 

During the ceremony, personal testimonials were also shared of lifelong friendship with Justice Saunders that extend beyond the halls of justice.  A childhood friend recalls schooling with the esteemed judge as a little boy growing up in St. Vincent.

 

Presenter 2

“Today’s arrival is not unexpected, but it’s an overpowering of joy at Adrian’s elevation to the pinnacle of Caribbean jurisprudence.  The tribute that I present is being presented on behalf of a number of real close friends that dates back in excess of fifty years.  Adrian has been a very close friend of mine for more than fifty years, dating back to our first year at the St. Vincent Boys Grammar School.  There are about eight other such mutual friends, a phenomenon that I truly cherish.  We are all exceedingly proud and joyful to celebrate Adrian’s elevation to the presidency of the Caribbean Court of Justice.”

 

In his address, Justice Saunders acknowledged the office previously held by two outstanding Caribbean jurists, Justice de la Bastide and Sir Dennis Byron. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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